The Thorn by Beverly Lewis is the first installment in her new series -- The Rose Trilogy. This is another excellent book by a great author.
Rose is a young Amish woman who was baptized into the church at a young age and seems confident that is where she belongs. She spends much of her time caring for her mother who suffers physcially because of an accident many years before. Sometimes Rose feels stuck in the house in her role as her mother's caregiver. But she enjoys the freedom in her friendship with Nick, the bishop's son, and is excited about the renewed prospect of being courted by Silas Good. Mystery enters Rose's life as she begins to investigate the "haunted" sounds in the home of Mr. Browning, where she works a few hours a week cooking and cleaning. Rose's sister, "Hen" has been away for the past few years, since she left the community to marry an Englisher, but as she begins to visit home frequently with her young daughter Mattie Sue, her family becomes concerned about her commitment to her marriage.
As is her style, Beverly Lewis masterfully weaves together the stories of multiple people and the complexities of their lives -- even among the setting of a "plain" lifestyle. She keeps you involved in the characters' stories and wanting to know more. Her attention to details helps you learn more facts about the Amish way of life even as you find yourself involved with fictional people -- although you can easily find yourself wondering if they are real people you have met along the way.
Book two, The Judgment, is due to be out in April, and I'm anxious to find out more about where life takes Rose and her family and friends.